116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
VAN HORNE — Benton Community produced the big drive when it needed it most.
The Bobcats went 65 yards on 10 plays, burning 4:40 off the clock for the decisive touchdown with a little more than a minute left.
Colin Buch rolled in from 15 yards out to give Benton Community a 20-13 Homecoming victory over Class 3A ninth-ranked Mount Vernon in the district opener Friday night at Bobcats Stadium.
“We were setting it up with the downhill run with (Jacob) Brecht,” Buch said. “We were watching their guys creep in and creep in. We knew after the last run that Brecht had it was time to pull the trigger and go get in the end zone.
“Credit to my guys up front. They did an awesome job blocking. All I had to do was get in the end zone and not fumble. It was a great feeling overall.”
After a turnover on downs, Benton had the ball with a tie score and 5:52 left. The Bobcats stayed calm and collected with a chance to win.
“We were telling each other to stay focused,” Brecht said. “If you look back at some of our games, we get too high or too low. We tried to make sure we were level-headed and did what we needed to do and stayed disciplined up front.”
The Bobcats rediscovered the push up front and created lanes for Brecht, who kicked off the drive with gains of 9, 7 and 9 yards.
“We wanted to get off tackle,” Benton Coach Jeff Zittergruen said. “Our line was doing a good job and we kept going with that.
“The execution of the guys up front and these guys hitting the right spot to the hole was huge.”
Buch finished with 170 total yards, including 132 passing. Brecht led the Bobcats with 89 rushing yards. Despite fumbling and turning over the ball on its first snap, Benton scored the first 10 points.
Brecht provided a big boost, accounting for 63 of the 75-yard scoring drive. He opened it by hauling in a 45-yard pass from Buch. Brecht added an 11-yard run before his 5-yard TD run to make it 7-0 with 6:10 left in the first quarter.
Nathan Rottman kicked a 45-yard field goal on the next possession, giving the Bobcats a 10-0 lead with 1:45 left remaining in the opening frame. Rottman also added a 25-yarder in the fourth that tied the game, 13-13, with 9:21 left.
Mount Vernon overcame its slow start with a monster drive, covering 80 yards on 12 plays and burning 6:13 off the clock that bracketed the first two quarters.
Trenton Pitlik’s 12-yard run gave the Mustangs their first first down 11 minutes into the game. Quarterback Owen Brase scored on a 6-yard run that morphed into a scrum of 22 players that pushed into the end zone.
The point-after attempt was no good, leading to a 10-6 halftime score.
Pitlik rushed for 61 yards, while Brase added 56 on the ground and 101 passing.